Home Daily News Roundup Investors As Organic Fans; Netflix Weathers Its Password Crackdown

Investors As Organic Fans; Netflix Weathers Its Password Crackdown


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Investor, Inorganic

A popular new tactic in DTC marketing is to bring on influencers or popular content creators as stakeholders, co-founders and/or backers of the brand. 

When celebrities invest in a company, it’s usually because they actually do believe in the product.

Still, it must be noted that these are marketing arrangements, as per the National Advertising Division, a self-regulatory agency within BBB National Programs that monitors and reviews advertising for accuracy and truthfulness.

Take “clean” antacid startup Wonderbelly. According to JD Supra, Wonderbelly recently got dinged by the NAD for failing to disclose its ties to influencers, including investor Demi Moore, who explicitly said her promotional posts for the brand were “not an ad.”

But these posts were very much “an ad” and should have been labeled as such, the NAD says.

When to include disclosures can be a tricky question, though. Consider Ridge, a popular DTC walletmaker, which recently added YouTube star Marques Brownlee as stakeholder and “Chief Creative Partner.”

Celebrities and influencers can take a stake in brands with no public announcement or way to confirm the relationship.

Tightening The Net

What do advertisers want most from Netflix?


More ad inventory, at least. And Netflix is ready to deliver. 

Roughly 40% of new global subscribers now sign up for Netflix’s ad-supported tier, up from 30% in the fall. For comparison’s sake, that number is 50% for Disney+. 

But, hey, at least Netflix is picking up the pace. 

Advertisers need scaled buying options before they agree to commit large CTV budgets to any streaming platform – even Netflix. The company is brand new to advertising, so it’s been under an immense amount of pressure to build an ad-supported member base from the ground up.

Luckily for Netflix, its crackdown on password sharing has been a big catalyst for ad-supported viewership growth.

Netflix expected global pushback over account sharing to be short-lived, and how things ended up shaking out in Australia is a good indicator that the streamer was right.

Although subscriber churn was especially severe in Australia at the beginning, Netflix’s anti-sharing clampdown eventually helped the platform lock in new, higher-ARPU accounts.

Now, Netflix is working with hundreds of marketers in Australia alone, industry sources tell the Australian news pub AdNews.

Dumpster Fire Sale

G/O Media’s fire sale is still burning.

The digital media company informed employees on Tuesday that it sold its pop culture pub, AV Club, and its food site, The Takeout, according to NY Post media reporter Alexandra Steigrad.

AV Club is reportedly now the property of Paste Magazine, which also acquired G/O’s feminist news site, Jezebel, in November. And The Takeout is now owned by Static Media, which operates ZergNet, a content recommendation platform.

The Onion – a flagship G/O brand – is also on the chopping block, according to Steigrad.

The warning signs for G/O Media have been flashing for a while now. Last year, the company underwent two rounds of layoffs and sold its tech and lifestyle pub, Lifehacker, in addition to offloading Jezebel.

Earlier this month, it sold sports site Deadspin to Lineup Publishing. And just last week, G/O’s leadership pivoted its gaming site, Kotaku, from news coverage to game guides in a bid to monetize SEO traffic rather than build an audience. 

G/O is allegedly pinning its hopes for profitability on contextual ads – although selling off its portfolio will arguably make that plan unfeasible.

But Wait, There’s More!

Inside marketing’s elusive Quixote quest for digital ad transparency. [Digiday]

Who’s behind the spam bots on Twitter? Journalist John Herrman clicked all the way through so you don’t have to. [NY Mag]

Thriving as a founding engineer: Lessons from the trenches. [The Pragmatic Engineer]

ID spoofing dents campaign performance. [Adweek]

You’re Hired!

Adobe vet Gurdeep Dhillon joins CDP Contentstack as CMO. [release]

Josh Cohen is named VP of product management at eyeo. [release]

OAAA appoints Andy McDonald as SVP of government affairs. [release]

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